Jealousy is a normal reaction when a newborn is welcomed into a family. It is the responsibility of the parents to comfort the older child if emotions bubble to the surface
Although children seem to enjoy the arrival of a newborn, they may say "where did this come from?"
The arrival of a new sister or brother might be one of the most frustrating and upsetting events for an older child. Although parents generally wrap firstborns in cotton wool, sibling jealousy arises when they focus their attention on the newborn.
The firstborn can experience an intense feeling of isolation in losing their priority. Remember that he or she is still a small child craving your attention.
This is because parents have an important role after a second child is born. Child Development Specialist İlknur Güven enlightened us on the reasons for sibling rivalry and how children behave by giving some useful tips for parents.
Reasons for sibling rivalry
Jealousy is a natural, universal but pathetic feeling referring to resentment against someone because of his or her advantages or success. However, jealousy among small children may create emotional and behavioral disorders in the long term.
The older child is mostly discomforted by his or her parents' affection toward the newborn. Indeed, many parents experience difficulty in sparing time for both children. The child therefore may lose confidence in their parents with heavy feelings of anger and disappointment.
The underlying reason for sibling jealousy is the unwillingness to share parents' love and affection with another child. The older child may think their parents do not love them any longer. They express their feelings in either explicit or implicit ways.
Tip: To avoid sibling rivalry, it is necessary for parents to introduce the newborn in a proper way. You could give your child a gift saying it was brought by the newborn.
How the older child behaves
Your child may show extrovert or introvert attitudes.
Alternatively, he or she can be a rather active and naughty child. Don't be surprised if your child begins to act like a baby, unable to eat on their own or dress themselves. They may even ask you to bring a nursing-bottle or pacifier. A jealous child's aim is to draw attention.
The newborn can be physically harmed or psychologically damaged by their brother or sister. "You should speak to your older child in a calm manner," says Güven. It is entirely improper to show excessive interest or tolerance toward your child. The rules at home should be the same after your second baby arrives. Bear in mind that your child does not have animosity toward their sibling even if they attempt to harm him or her. "It is better to show how he should behave without becoming angry," she further recommended.
Do not take your child to kindergarten as soon as the newborn arrives, as it could trigger a phobia of school.
Recommendations to avoid sibling rivalry
l There is no need to be too concerned about how your older child will behave toward you and the newborn. If you look uneasy, your child will react with the same feelings.
When your child comes to see you at hospital, leave the newborn and hug your child.
If your child does not visit you at hospital, you should call your child every day. Encourage him or her to come and see you.
Do not persistently tell your child things such as they've become a brother or sister.
Warn your guests not to say things like, "You have lost your credit and we will love your sibling from now on."
Do not show excessive love to your newborn and your older child at the same time.
You should call the newborn by his or her name. Create an atmosphere whereby the newborn is not an object, but a human.
Do not tell your older child to be quiet because their sister or brother is sleeping or arrange your older child's life according to the newborn.
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